Things I miss…
VHS tapes, the age before cell phones, Boy Meets World reruns late at night, and college basketball.
Butler had a roller coaster of a season. Things went from good, to bad, to worse, to good again.
Here are the top five games from the Bulldog’s season.
Honorable Mention- 60-55 loss to Villanova
This was not a bad loss at all. The Bulldogs held the eventual National Champions to 21 points in the first half. The Wildcats went 26.7 % from beyond the three-point line and only two Wildcats scored in double figures, Josh Hart and Ryan Arcidiacono.
Kellen Dunham, Tyler Wideman, and Roosevelt Jones all had double figure scoring outputs for the Bulldogs. The Butler offense only had 8 turnovers, as compared to Nova’s 13. Roosevelt Jones’ 20 points and relentless hustle, was a major factor in the Bulldogs being able to shrink a 9 point deficit with just over 3 minutes left, to a one-possession game with under 30 seconds to go. Jones took Arcidiacono to school that night. The Arch was held to 3-14 shooting from the floor and had an uncharacteristically high 3 turnovers.
The Wildcats’ big 2nd half, plus their free throws and clutch shots down the stretch was the deciding factor.
5. Throttling The Citadel 144-71
This game was fun. The Bulldogs didn’t even break a sweat and cruised to 71 1st half points. That’s as many as The Citadel scored all game ! The ENTIRE Butler team scored. It was the definition of a track meet. The entire starting lineup had a double-figure scoring night. Junior power forward Andrew Chrabascz nearly had a triple-double with 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists. Did I mention he was a power forward ? Tyler Wideman was a perfect 8-8 from the floor, leading to a 18 point and 6 rebound night. This is probably the last time Citadel schedules a Power 5 opponent. I can’t imagine they would again after letting up 100 points with over 13 minutes left. This was a historical blowout.
4. Kelan Martin’s Coming Out Party
Georgetown is always a tough team for Butler. Georgetown has always been an athletic team that loves playing defense, but that wasn’t the case on Groundhog Day. Not many people knew Martin’s talents before this season, but they sure knew him after this one. Kelan Martin set the world on fire with 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks en route to a victory. Martin was 10-18 from the floor, 3-6 from three-point range, and was 12-13 from the foul line. Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones also had nice scoring nights with 18 and 19 respectively. A 33-25 rebounding advantage and 10 blocked shots gave the Bulldogs their fourth conference victory and jumpstarted their season. Kelan Martin would eventually be voted as a 2nd Team All Big-East player.
3. The Final Matchup Against Seton Hall
Butler’s two victories against Seton Hall were vital to their season. Two quality wins over legitimate in-conference opponents was a big reason the Bulldogs earned a tourney birth in March. The last win against Seton Hall materialized the Bulldog’s hopes of a bid in March Madness. Roosevelt Jones went 20,5, and 5 while holding NBA prospect Isiah Whitehead to 9-23 from the field. Kelan Martin and Kellen Dunham both had productive nights with Martin registering 13 points and 9 rebounds and Dunham shooting 50% from the floor during his 22 point night. The March victory was a primer for what was to come in March.
2. Butler Upsets Purdue
It’s not a Butler season without an upset.
Butler beat No.9 Purdue in December for one of their best wins all year.
Purdue has a 6’9 power forward and can rotate two 7’0 centers. Purdue had a massive size advantage. The sizeable duo of Issac Haas and AJ Hammonds were held to just 16 points and 14 rebounds. Might not sound impressive, but the tallest Butler starter is 6’8. Going into individual accolades would not do this game justice. Butler won this game by forcing 18 turnovers and executing on both sides of the ball. The low post defense was absolutely textbook. The upset over Purdue was a fantastic team effort.
1. Buzzer Beater Over Cincinnati
Death, Taxes, and Roosevelt Jones in the clutch.
The unranked Bulldogs knocked out No.17 Cincinnati at the buzzer.
Austin Etherington’s rocket pass to Roosevelt Jones gave Butler its most thrilling victory of the year against a tough, gritty BearCat squad. The victory over a ranked team was a boost to Butler’s credentials in a tough non-conference slate.